Announcing an updated version of Internet Explorer 11 – available on Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 8.1

April 3rd, 2014

Today we’re excited to announce an updated version of Internet Explorer 11 available with the Windows 8.1 Update and for our Windows 7 customers as well as the debut of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1. The Windows 8.1 Update will be available for download today on MSDN and TechNet, with automatic updates beginning April 8th for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers. We are also launching two new experiences today – 22Tracks and FishGL – so you can explore what’s new with IE11 across Windows and Windows Phone.

We’ve heard that people browse the Web on many devices, switching between their laptop, tablet, and phone throughout the day. Today’s update to IE11 means that whatever device you pick-up, your tabs and favorites are there for you, right where you left off. Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 share the same experience and underlying Web standards that help developers build interoperable sites and apps that just work across many browsers and devices. That includes updates to the latest specs for hardware-accelerated (and stable) WebGL as well as professional quality rich media like HTML5 video including closed captioning, adaptive streaming, and rights management.

Internet Explorer works seamlessly across phones, tablets and PCs
Internet Explorer 11 works seamlessly across phone, laptop, and small and large tablets

Introducing IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1

With Windows Phone 8.1 you now have access to the most modern and full-featured phone browser ever with IE11. In addition to the same underlying engine across device experiences, and roaming your favorites and tabs between devices, Windows Phone now offers many of the same features as the modern IE you experience on Windows. With IE11 for Windows Phone and Live Sites you can now pin your favorite sites directly to your Start Screen for information from the Web at a glance. Reading Mode helps you optimize the view of articles like you were reading a digital book on your phone. Voice Commands get you quickly to your favorite Web sites by speaking naturally to your device. IE11 for Windows Phone also includes InPrivate to keep your browsing private. And to help you better manage your phone’s data usage, the new High Savings Mode can be enabled to reduce data consumption by 60-80% through reducing image downloads and only loading elements of the page relevant to the content you want to view.

Updated IE11 for Windows 8.1

With today’s update, IE11 adapts your browsing experience by detecting your Windows device and input type – whether an 8 inch tablet in portrait mode or a 24 inch desktop with mouse and keyboard. The Web is still front-and-center but new design enhancements make your browsing experience feel like it was made just for your device – like the number of tabs on-screen and the size of the fonts and menus. You can also now control when the browser remains on-screen or hides away for full-screen browsing depending on the type of device you use.

Internet Explorer responds to the size of your device
Internet Explorer 11 adjusts responsively, adapting to your device

New enhancements to the F12 Developer Tools

IE11 comes with a completely redesigned and enhanced suite of in-browser developer tools that help developers build, diagnose, and optimize modern Web sites and apps. We heard from developers – you want shortcuts that are more common across the many tools you use and more flexibility to emulate various versions of IE. Today’s update includes enhancements to both of those requests as well as improved UI and Memory tools. The Debugger tools make it easier to identify, detect, and isolate code that is transcompiled, minified, or part of 3rd party libraries like jQuery.

A complete set of enhancements is available on MSDN here.

Enterprise Mode helps organizations progress toward modern browsers

Available for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11 provides improved Internet Explorer 8 compatibility for specified sites. Enabling enterprises to safely update to Internet Explorer 11 while maintaining great backwards compatibility for specific sites that were developed for Internet Explorer 8 or below. Organizations can designate that Enterprise Mode be enabled for specific sites so they can benefit from modern Web standards, better performance, and increased security of a modern Web browser, while reducing upgrade costs and extending legacy Web app investments. By improving backward compatibility for older versions of Internet Explorer, this also helps organization stay up-to-date with services such as Office 365 and deploy devices like the Surface Pro 2.

For IT professionals, you can learn more about the benefits of Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11 from the IE engineering blog and the Internet Explorer TechNet page.

Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer

22tracks and FishGL: Fast, beautiful, and perfect for touch

In January, we invited developers and enthusiasts alike to help us rethink what’s possible on the Web. With today’s updates to IE11, we take another step toward that vision by releasing two new experiences. We remain committed to building an open and interoperable Web – while these experiences are perfect for touch-browsing, they work well in any modern browser.


We’ve teamed-up with the team at 22tracks to bring you a completely new touch-first music experience. 22tracks is all about finding new, emerging music – featuring top DJs from across Europe: Amsterdam, London, Paris, Brussels, and they are expanding. The site shows that with a single line of code, developers can create responsive sites that look great across many screen sizes, by automatically detecting the device you’re using and adjusting the experience accordingly. And with the power of WebGL, an interactive audio visualizer adapts to your music and responds to your touch – tap and hold, swipe, and drag as your listen and see what happens. The site also takes advantage of many features in Windows that make it feel like an app: you can pin your favorite tracks to the Windows Start Screen, share tracks using the Charm Bar, or save and listen to a track later using the Reading List app in Windows. A few more details about the folks at 22Tracks and their site are available on their blog.

22 Tracks web site
22tracks helps you find emerging music…across any device


WebGL and the 3D JavaScript library three.JS bring the browser to life in a way that no other technology can. And since Internet Explorer has a fun history with fish aquariums, we felt this update shouldn’t be any different. Enter FishGL – an interactive, touch-friendly 3D graphics benchmark. Rotate around the tank of colorful fish. Crank up the fish count, see how many your browser can run. While you are there tap the glass to scatter the fish or tap and hold for more one-on-one interaction. Swipe your finger across the screen to rotate the room or pinch to zoom. Use the control panel to toggle to fish view – insider the aquarium. Power users can adjust the aquarium physics too.

Fish GL web site
Can you find the light switch to the aquarium?

Looking Ahead

While we are excited about today’s announcement we’re even more excited about the future. As we begin working on the next generation of Internet Explorer for all of our devices we want to build a deeper partnership with users and Web developers. We want to hear more from you and starting today we are launching a beta site to help foster a two-way dialog between the IE team at Microsoft and the community. At status.modern.IE you can see what is supported in IE and standards we are evaluating for future versions. We’ll be listening to your feedback, via @IEDevChat, conferences and online forums, and we want to hear even more from the community about what you want to see in the next versions of IE.
status.modern.IE (beta) – At a glance information on what’s available in IE and across browsers, and what’s coming next!

Be sure to download today’s Windows update via MSDN or TechNet for the very latest, install the Windows Phone 8.1 update to start using IE11 today on your Phone and check-out our new experiences: 22Tracks and FishGL. On April 8 the Windows 8.1 update and IE11 update for Windows 7 will be available for all customers via Windows Update.

We look forward to hearing your feedback @IEDevChat or via Connect, to help us move the industry forward and continue to enhance the browser.

— Sam George, Partner Group Program Manager, Internet Explorer